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Everybody celebrated

August 30, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

From children watching puppet shows to a 79-year-old man who just started dancing last year and couldn't wait for the music to start so he could practice his moves, there was something for everyone at Everybody's Day at Pen Mar Park on Sunday, an event organizer said.

At least 5,000 people attended the annual event at the park, said James Powers, executive secretary of the American Federation of Musicians Local 770 which helps organize the event.

"This is the most special day of the season," Powers said.

The event had activities for people of all ages, including swing and big-band music, classic car collections and a balloon sculptor, he said.

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Once a mountaintop resort and amusement park, Pen Mar Park closed after World War II when many families began traveling to oceanfront resorts.

Washington County's Recreation and Parks Department, which reopened the park in 1977, has since partnered with the American Federation of Musicians Local 770 to sponsor the concert series that runs from May to October.

The Sunday concerts usually draw 2,000 to 2,500 people, Powers said.

Glenn Carbaugh, 79, of Waynesboro, Pa., was among about 50 people sitting on benches by the concert band shell before the music began. He learned to dance last year and now dances to all the music performed at the concert series, he said.

Sitting in a corner of the bandstand that Powers and other regulars refer to as "Katie's Corner" sat Katie O'Kelly of Blue Ridge Summit, Pa.

O'Kelly, 84, said she first came to the park as a baby in 1921.

As with Carbaugh, O'Kelly said she attends all of the concerts at the park.

While she loves the scenery, the best part of the concert series is the people, she said.

"There are so many nice people here, all so friendly," O'Kelly said.

Powers praised those who come to the show every week.

"They are so regular in coming here. If there was a blizzard, they would still be here," Powers said.

Activities for children included a candy toss, a sack race and puppet shows under a pavilion across the park.

Jill Kyle-Keith, owner of Beale Street Puppets of Baltimore, said she has been putting puppet shows on at Everybody's Day for at least 10 years.

"It is a fun gig," she said.

Nicole Bricker, 21, of Waynesboro, Pa., said she liked the whole event.

"It has been a wonderful day," Bricker said.

The favorite part of the event for her son, Cameron Bricker, 5, was the free face painting, she said. He had a star and a ball painted on his face, Nicole Bricker said.

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